A national poll on nuclear energy has shown that 83 per cent of UAE residents are in favour of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program.
The research shows some of the highest favourability rates for nuclear energy in the world, and the latest support is an increase of 13 percent since the last poll conducted in 2013, said a statement.
Strong levels of awareness and support for the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to eventually provide up to 25 percent of the nation’s electricity were also shown, with 92 percent of residents stating they believed it to be important for the UAE, it said.
The poll was commissioned by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and conducted by the independent global market research specialists Kantar TNS. The survey is part of ENEC’s community outreach program, which involves a range of activities including public forums, educational initiatives and participation in nationally important events.
“The results of this survey show that ENEC’s regular and active engagement with the public is increasingly successful,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief executive officer of ENEC.
“The findings of the research conclude that UAE residents support the development of peaceful nuclear energy because it plays a strategic role in powering the future growth of the nation,” continued Al Hammadi. ENEC remains committed to investing resources in the development of stakeholder engagement activities and communication campaigns designed to further explain the benefits of nuclear energy in generating electricity with near-zero carbon emissions and offer career opportunities for talented UAE Nationals.
“It is encouraging to know that so many UAE residents are not only aware of the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy but actively support the work we are doing at Barakah, with 90 percent of respondents believing that ENEC is building our plant at Barakah to the highest standards of safety and quality” said Al Hammadi. “The findings of this study demonstrate that UAE residents understand the important role peaceful nuclear energy will play in the UAE’s future - from supplying clean energy to creating high-value job opportunities.”
More than 750 people were interviewed across the UAE as part of the study, in a group of respondents that was reflective of the demographics of the UAE.
Key findings include:
• 69 percent believe that peaceful nuclear energy is important for the nation
• Favourability was highest among Emiratis, at 87 percent.
• Support for the construction of peaceful nuclear energy plants in the UAE has risen to 79 percent, up 11 percent from 2013.
• The percentage of residents who believe it is important for the UAE to have a peaceful nuclear energy program in order to be able to meet the nation’s electricity needs has risen to 69 percent, up 6 percent from 2013.
• The vast majority of UAE residents, 81 percent, are aware of ENEC, a major increase from 2013 when 56 percent of residents were aware of ENEC.
• UAE Nationals were the most aware of ENEC at 93 percent.
• 87 percent of Emiratis emerge as strong endorsers of moving to a low carbon energy source, and 86 percent agree with nuclear energy as a clean, reliable and efficient source of energy production.
Kantar TNS CEO Stephen Hillebrand said: “Public surveys that capture the relative demographic nature of the country are vital for any new industry, especially one like nuclear energy which is known for polarising views across the globe. The results of this opinion poll clearly show that the engagement and communication activities of ENEC have resonated with the general public of the UAE.”
The study also shows that members of the public are interested in learning how the plant at Barakah will function, when it will be ready, and how it will contribute to the UAE energy mix.